As part of my move along with goals, I’ve been doing crazy things. Mostly these involve:
doing things that are scary every day,
developing and sticking to systems,
and listening to my body.
The scary stuff I’ve been doing has almost all been related to visibility. I’ve written about it before because it was a huge block for me. There were layers upon layers of issues I had with becoming visible and most of them I didn’t realize I had.
Most of the work I’ve been doing is for others, but it’s also for myself. I am shamelessly working on myself in public. Why? Because I need the accountability. I know this about myself. When I make a commitment, I need to talk through it and learn out loud. When I do that, it keeps me honest but it also keeps me motivated.
So I did a lot of pitching last weekend. I did a lot of work promoting my class and getting things set for the next phase of my class (more lectures! WOOT!). And I worked my butt off on a possible essay submission, that ended up with three iterations, and no submittable piece.
I set it down for later. I will finish it later, and work on things that have set deadlines first, because I need fresh eyes, and a feeling of accomplishment.
Needless to say, I’ve got mixed feelings about where I am and what I’m doing.
Despite progress, anxiety.
It’s hard to be in a situation where there is pressure to perform.
I’ve always been an over-achiever. There has always been pressure to exceed expectations. Part of it was my mother’s personal drive, something inherited from her father and grandmother. Part of it was my position in the community – the pastors’ daughter. These things combined with my inherent talents and nurtured skills made me feel the need to prove myself. I was never good enough for me. That mindset created a lot of anxiety, which was fueled by other anxieties around finances, awards, and what others were doing. Everything was a source of fear, jealousy, and shame.
I feel the mark of that mindset tickling at the back of my thoughts now. I feel it as I decide how to move forward with my professional life – where I spend my energy and time.
Thinking about that, my mind starts whirling, old habits stirring to life. That’s when I take a breath, look out the window, and remember there’s only so much time. There’s only so much energy. I am more than enough. I am doing more than any expectations or pressures require.
I am myself.
I am beautiful.
My life is amazing.
I love myself.
These are the things I tell myself and the old demons disappear, blown away like so much dust.
Wisdom for Working (or Life)
I recently got turned onto Leigh Shulman and Nicole Gulotta. Shulman is great for systems. Gulotta is great for setting up intentions. Both of these things are helpful in writing life and I’m grateful for having discovered them (and eager to dive into their content).
I love systems – and you know I love intention. But I also need one other thing – a reminder. I need a reminder that even as others put out classes in self-love, even as think tanks study the scientific basis for compassion – none of them are me.
Only I am me. Only I can say the things I say the way I say them. My voice is different – and easier for some to hear during a certain part of their journey. For this reason, I keep on speaking. For this reason I keep doing what I’m doing. Because even an idea like the Golden Rule that people have heard a million times doesn’t sink in until the right person shares it at the right time.
Don’t write yourself off. Have some dreams. Set up systems. Have intentions. But most importantly, remember only you are you. There is no one else quite like you and what you do impacts the world around you. Keep working. Keep going. There are more than enough possibilities for all of us.
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